When Bruce Cockburn comes to the Mateel Community Center I am elated. This is my community and my backyard, or living room — how ever you want to look at that. This is exciting in so many ways.. being able to experience Bruce with a lot of friends and fans makes it all that more enjoyable and uplifting.. and he rocked and swooned the Mateel Hall and held us in his hands like putty for the whole show.
What makes this an even more special event for me, was Bruce and I were able to sit and talk with each other for a couple of hours. How lovely that was, and how gracious of him to spend a little time with me. My heart soars.
We arrived early enough to catch up with Kathy & Riley from Arcata, and a bit later with Russ & Jan, & then so many locals. Taun being at her first ever Bruce show, and Dian, Kate, Brian, Margriet, Alicia, Lily, Liz & Charlie… I would really have to name at least half the folks in the hall. But that made it so much more fun.
I am not going to go into every song, suffice it to say it was an excellent Setlist. Agnes Patak – Mateel Photo set was there taking incredible photos so I mostly let my camera sit until the after show meet & greet.
So many people were taking so many photos at the meet & greet signing that I haven’t even seen them all yet.
But what follows were taken by me or Russel or Jan.. and is a fun way to wrap up what a wonderful night it was for all.
Tickets just went on sale for Bruce’s show on April 16 at the Mateel Community Center. This will be a seated show, which will be great for me.
I am so happy to have Bruce back here in my own backyard! It will be more like having a party with Bruce than going to a concert feel, I expect. I hope to connect with him of course, but one never knows for sure what the timing will be like.
What can I say? Friends and fans are coming from near and far – I am excited!
We made the trek down to Santa Cruz to see Bruce on Friday July 12 at the Rio Theatre. It’s a good 7 hour drive from here without stops.. good thing we went a day early so we had some energy recovery time!
We cruised by the Rio on Friday afternoon to check it out.
I was hoping to catch sound check, but that didn’t happen. I did talk to Russ Cole, who did sound for Bruce, who said he did a very long sound check.
It was a sunny bright day in Santa Cruz and I was very excited to see Bruce as it has been 14 months since the last time at the Van Duzer Theater.
Look How Far:
We were told by someone inside to come back at 6pm for will call, so of course we got there even earlier to find out that Will Call wasn’t until 7pm! So there was one line for General Admission and one line for Gold Circle (first 15 rows) and most everyone in those lines had to also get in the will call line to get the actual tickets.. quite a little tense fiasco by the time the doors got open. But I love talking to fans in line, meeting new people, re-meeting others from meets at other shows, and of course connecting with good friends, like Riley and Kathy (who we first met at the Arcata Theater Lounge show. And Paul from the 2002 Kate Wolf Festival.
There were a few surprises in the setlist this time around,
and Russel snagged the original and had Bruce sign it after the show.
There is always so much energy at these shows, the banter back and forth with the crowd.. the calling of songs to be played, often with Bruce commenting on them. Someone asked for Tropic Moon, he said, “that’s a good song and I don’t think I have ever had anyone ask for it” (paraphrased). Someone also asked for Lord of the Starfields, which I believe he said ‘was a great song and very close to his heart, but now he was not going to play that one now’.
Here is something that he did play though: When You Give It Away
Bruce also did a meet and greet and signage after the show. The line was long and Bruce was visibly tired, but he graciously signed and spoke with his adoring fans.
Once again I had the photo from the last time we met and he signed it for me. We chatted for a couple of seconds, he said he had thought he would see me at the Grass Valley show, and I said I had planned to go there, but when the chance of guaranteed close to the stage seating was offered with the Rio show, how could I refuse? He said, “I hear you on that” and we laughed.. older bodies, ya know??
I knew he was driving back to San Fransisco that evening and leaving the next day for Grass Valley for his WorldFest gig on Sunday the 14th at around 6pm.. (3 hours from now as I write this wishing I could be there as well), so I threw him a heart kiss and we left.
I didn’t get a photo of us taken this time, so I guess the run of signing photos from past shows is over, but it was a good run. One day I will gather them all and make another blog post about that.
[Seems my videos are not playing using the latest Firefox browser..that is a first..must fix..they do work on Chrome.
A note on how I fixed this: “Try turning off hardware acceleration for Flash, that can sometimes resolve issues with Flash videos not playing. Right-click on any Flash video, click “Settings”, select the Display tab and uncheck “Enable hardware acceleration” … now they play again!]
I had been looking forward to this show since it was announced in August of 2011! And it was worth the wait.
I think this makes about 30 shows over the years for me. I have never sat in the front row, been close to that, but never there. This time our tickets (which were comp-ed btw) were all the way to the back of the theater, against the wall and I was bummed. One of the ushers at the Van Duzer suggested we ask at box office for an upgrade. Russel did this, and through his wonderful personality scored us front row seats!
Interesting sitting there, so close, being able to really see Bruce and his fingers on the guitars, and watch the slight expressions cross his face.
He, as per usual, had his eyes closed more than open. Personally I think the sound would of been better back a bit, but not complaining!
There were many friends there, lots of socializing. Jenny Scheinman was in attendance, just about a week away from giving birth to her second child. I saw MJ and Iona (Bruce’s family) during the break, and got my boldness on and approached, introduced myself to MJ and she acknowledged that she had heard of me (don’t know if this was good stuff or bad LOL!). I gave her a small gift I had picked up for Iona, we had a brief exchange and it was time for the second set to start. Glad to have finally met her and got to see Iona, who seems to handle the crowds just fine.
I won’t go through the whole setlist, here’s a copy of the setlist scan that Russel grabbed off the stage after the show.
And rather than talk about the show I’ll let you listen to many of the songs:
There was a meet and greet after, the line wasn’t as long as I had seen in the past, but he did do a version of this here in Arcata 2010.
I had many friends in line and was busy talking with them while we waited. One friend and her 16 year old daughter were there. This was the daughters first time seeing Bruce, having just recently started appreciating his music (Mom’s a fan). Her mother said, “her soul was stirred” and “it was one of the highlights of her life so far” and “Ancestors” was her favorite song of all. I think this is very cool, to have a whole new generation of Bruce fans, as most of the crowd was over 40 and many over 60 easily.
And in keeping with the theme I seem to have created, when it was my turn to briefly have Bruce’s attention I had him sign a photo of the 2 of us from the late ’80s, 1989 I think, at the Zellerbach Theater in Berkeley.
Bruce Cockburn and Bobbi Wisby at Van Duzer Theater Arcata 29 April 2012
Bruce Cockburn and Bobbi Wisby at Van Duzer Theater Arcata 29 April 2012
I have to mention that the evening started out blissfully as we visited with friends, who we met first at the Arcata Theater Lounge 2010. show, and have stayed in touch through FB and brief meetups at other Bruce shows. This was the first chance we have had to converse about something besides Bruce. They have a most lovely home and I hope the friendship can continue to grow.
One of the things I love about going to see Bruce is that he has some really cool fans! And I love meeting new fans and greeting old fans, some people I only ever see at Bruce’s shows, so it almost always feels a bit like home.
Bruce Cockburn and Jan Bramlett at Van Duzer Theater Arcata 29 April 2012
Bruce Cockburn and Gillian Brown at Van Duzer Theater Arcata 29 April 2012